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I love teaching. I have a creative and independent-minded style. I believe that learning should be enjoyable. It should also follow high standards and sustain a well-motivated, seriously disciplined effort.
In my early sixties, widely read and traveled, I'm middling good at many subjects, but I feel strongest in linguistics and language learning, all aspects of composition, writing and text analysis. I have an MA in English, and am state certified in ESL. My non-native Spanish and Polish are fairly good. I have a background in Russian and Romanian but haven't used these languages in years and am rusty with them. I'm extremely patient, and I have a good sense of humor.
I haven't owned a car in almost 20 years. Bicycling is a way of life with me -- including low-budget, cross-country solo tours. Back in town, I mostly bicycle just to get around, but sometimes I walk or take the bus. I prefer to work within approximately five miles of Allwood Circle in Clifton.
My rates go up if lessons involve significant travel or preparations.
I will be 64 later this month, have done a lot of living and traveling on four continents -- much of it challenging -- in a wide variety of circumstances and among diverse populations. I've always been a spiritually oriented person, a reader and seeker, looking into a broad range of self-help and scriptural sources, from 10-day Vipassana meditation retreats to reading the Bible, Koran, Bhagavad Gita and other religious classics, general works such as Huston Smith's standard textbook on the world's religions, and works of philosophy. I am not a sage or a saint, but this general statement is the best I can offer to substantiate my belief that I'm qualified to guide a younger person through the study of religious material, in the broad sense of that term.
As a high school student, I got one of the top scores in the country on a national Spanish exam (NATS&P), circa 1965. I taught Spanish for two years at a public high school in Oakland, CA, during the late 1980s (n.b., I held a state state credential in Spanish).
I have traveled widely in Mexico, Argentina and Spain, especially the former. In all cases, this was independent, solo travel, in which I immersed myself among the native population. A number of these trips, over many years, were of extended duration.
I still enjoy chatting with my neighbors and reading the occasional book in Spanish; however, I've been much more immersed in Polish during recent years, since I remarried, because my wife and her large circle of acquaintances are Polish immigrants.
My non-native Spanish is still fluent and natural. I feel comfortable among Hispanic folk and enjoy association with their cultures.
I have been a language teacher for several decades -- mainly in teaching English to non-native speakers -- so my skills and sensitivities would be well suited to tutoring non-native learners of Spanish, especially up to about the high intermediate or low advanced levels.
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